Easy Hollandaise Sauce

$0.72 recipe / $0.36 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.60 from 52 votes
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I recently polled my Facebook followers to see what recipes they’ve been too intimidated to try, and hollandaise sauce was a popular answer. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s a lot easier than you think! This super quick and easy hollandaise sauce recipe will get you rich, creamy, lemony hollandaise sauce in just a few minutes and with nothing more than just a sauce pot and a whisk. So you can have this dreamy sauce whenever you want and without breaking a sweat. Let me show you how it’s done.

P.S. if you’ve ever made my Luscious Homemade Lemon Curd, this hollandaise sauce is basically the same thing, but savory!

two eggs on English muffins drizzled with hollandaise sauce

What is Hollandaise Sauce?

If you’ve never experienced the magic of hollandaise sauce, let me attempt to describe it to you. It’s a very simple savory sauce made with butter, egg yolk, lemon, and salt. It has a smooth, velvety texture with just the right amount of bright lemon flavor to keep it from being too heavy. If you’ve ever had Eggs Benedict, this is the dreamy yellow sauce that is drizzled over top. But it’s great on a lot more than just Eggs Benedict…

How to Use Hollandaise Sauce

As mentioned above, hollandaise sauce is often served over poached eggs, like in Eggs Benedict, but it’s also great over steamed or roasted vegetables, like asparagus, potatoes, or broccoli. The buttery lemon flavor is also great on salmon, crab, or even steak. Hollandaise sauce is practically all butter and I think we can all agree that butter tastes great on everything!

Small Batch for No Leftovers

Hollandaise sauce is very rich, so you don’t need a lot. And since reheating leftovers of emulsified sauces can be tricky, I decided to make this a small batch recipe so you can avoid the trouble of trying to use up your leftovers. The recipe below makes about ⅓ cup, or just enough for two people (about 3 Tbsp each).

If you want to make a larger batch, it’s just as easy. Simply adjust the number in the “servings” box in the recipe below and the ingredient quantities will adjust for you. The method will be exactly the same, but it may take a few minutes longer for the sauce to heat as you whisk.

hollandaise sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl in front of a plate of asparagus
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Easy Hollandaise Sauce

4.60 from 52 votes
An easy, no-fail method for making homemade hollandaise sauce in just minutes. Anyone can make this rich and creamy lemon butter sauce!
hollandaise sauce dripping off a spoon into a bowl in front of a plate of asparagus
Servings 2 3 Tbsp each
Prep 2 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 7 minutes


  • 1 large egg, separated ($0.23)
  • 1 Tbsp water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.02)
  • 4 Tbsp butter* ($0.44)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)


  • Separate the egg and place the egg yolk in a small saucepot. The whites can be saved for a different recipe.
  • Add the water and lemon juice to the pot with the yolk and whisk until smooth (no heat yet).
  • Cut the butter into small pieces (about ¼ Tbsp size) , then add them to the saucepot with the egg yolk, lemon, and water.
  • Place the pot over medium-low heat. Continuously whisk as the mixture heats. First the butter will melt, then the mixture will begin to get a bit frothy. Finally, as the egg yolk begins to cook, the sauce will thicken. Make sure you're whisking the entire time to achieve a light, smooth sauce. Once it thickens to the consistency of gravy, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Season the sauce with salt and cayenne, then drizzle the sauce over your favorite food!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.



*I use salted butter, but if you have unsalted butter simply add a pinch more salt to your sauce.


Serving: 3TbspCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 3gFat: 25gSodium: 381mgFiber: 1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!


hollandaise sauce being drizzled over two eggs on English Muffins

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce – Step by Step Photos

a raw egg yolk in a small saucepot

Separate one large egg and place the egg yolk in a small saucepot (this is a 1 qt. saucepot)

egg yolk whisked with water and lemon juice

Add 1 Tbsp water and ½ Tbsp lemon juice to the pot with the egg yolk, then whisk the yolk and lemon juice until smooth (do not heat the mixture at this point).

small butter cubes added to the saucepot

Cut 4 Tbsp butter into small pieces (about ¼ Tbsp sized pieces). Add them to the pot with the yolk, water, and lemon juice.

half melted butter in the sauce pot with a whisk

Place the pot over medium-low heat and continuously whisk while the butter begins to melt.

frothy egg mixture in the saucepot with the whisk

Continue to whisk as the mixture begins to heat. You’ll notice it begin to get frothy…

thickened sauce in the sauce pot with a whisk

And then when the egg yolk begins to actually cook, it will thicken the sauce to a consistency similar to gravy. Make sure you’re whisking throughout this entire process. It should only take 3-5 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat once thickened.

cayenne pepper and salt added to the hollandaise sauce

Season the sauce with about ⅛ tsp cayenne and ⅛ tsp salt (or to taste).

hollandaise sauce dripping off a spoon into a saucepot

And now your rich and dreamy lemony sauce is ready to eat! You did that!

Hollandaise sauce being drizzled over asparagus and salmon

Drizzle that heavenly sauce over all your favorite foods!

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  2. I’ve made Hollandaise sauce in the past and it was like a chemistry experiment with equipment changes and mixing.

    This recipe was so simple and tasted amazing. It was no more difficult than a normal bechamel sauce. I’ll be making this pretty often now.

  3. Made for baked asparagus and lobster dinner, everyone loved it. So good and just the right amount!

  4. Delicious! Thank you ! I always make way too much sauce and end up wasting . This is perfect for eggs Benedict for two !

  5. What a great, easy recipe—mine turned out perfectly by following the recipe exactly as written! I served it with homemade eggs benedict and it’s now going to be my go-to weekend brunch (for a fraction of the price of breakfast at a cafe!). Thanks so much for your awesome recipes—my twin sister and I have both been following your blog since our college days, and you’re still one of our go-to recipe sites 15 years later :)

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Mine came out the perfect consistency. I followed the recipe exactly (not my normal style) and as I kept the sauce on the heat just a touch longer the sauce thickened up nicely.

      I made eggs Benedict for my son and I. I wish I could post the pic so you can see the sauce on it.

  6. When I was a kid, like a lot of people my age used to, I went out to eat with my parents AT LEAST once a week (for reference I’m almost 43). We would eat breakfast out on Saturdays or Sundays and eggs Benedict was one of the things I ordered often. Fast-forward to post pandemic, devices in our faces, inflation prices and being the 1st generation to not do as well financially as our parents, now and going to a restaurant as a family and waiting to be seated then searching a menu with so many possibilities is not something happening as often as it was in the 80’s and 90’s. It wasn’t until my 16 year old and I somehow came upon the subject of hollandaise and the fact that she’d never had eggs Benny that I realized I had done her and my other daughter (14) a misservice by not keeping this tradition going; even if it was just once a month.

    So I tried right then to make the dish for her and failed. Four times. She got tired and told me she was fine with just poached eggs and English muffins and I was left sad that I couldn’t reproduce the famous sauce that made a Benedict what it is.

    Tonight I was determined to get it right and as I had before I googled stove top hollandaise and this was the first hit. When I read it I thought “oh my gosh, heat everything together, why hadn’t I thought of that?” I followed the super simple directions and it came out PERFECT! My daughter loved it!

    I know, I know, I am being a little over the top about a dumb recipe but this perfect sauce allowed the two of us a rare moment of common joy that goes beyond butter and eggs.

    It reminded me of a time that was a little brighter and showed me that I can create these moments for Violet (that’s my daughter) to cherish in a different way than my parents had done for me.

    I guess what I’m really saying is thank you. 😊

    1. Thank you for sharing that, Tiffany!! Food is such an important part of our lives and I’m so glad this recipe was able to connect you with happy memories from the past. :)

    1. I tried making this over the weekend for my Fiancee and myself for Omelets. For some reason it was very thin and runny and would not thicken up!!

      1. It sounds like the egg may have not fully cooked. A little more heat might have done the trick!